Fruit futures...

18 December, 2014

Apple 'Bramley's Seedling'

Apple (espaliered) 'Caville Blanc D'Hiver'

Pear (Belgian fence espalier) 'Williams Bon Chretien'

Plum 'Ziegler'

Plum 'Prune Splendour'

Thornless Blackberries 'Waldo'

Mango 'Florigon'

Pear 'Durondeau'

Peach 'Anzac'

Apple (step-over espalier) 'Pink Lady'

Mandarin 'Imperial'

Evergreen Blueberry 'Magnolia'

Banana Passionfruit  (flowering for the first time - yay!)

Tomato strategy: to pinch out or not to pinch out...

16 December, 2014

Given others have been talking in blogland about their tomato growing strategies I thought I would share how I am growing my tomatoes this year.

I have decided this year to test pinching out vs. not pinching out, to see if I have any discernable difference in crop quantity, time to ripening and disease issues.

I have tomatoes in two areas. Both areas have the same varieties growing, which were planted out at roughly the same time. The first area gets less afternoon sun, so I will have to take that into account in assessing the results.

The first area is a raised bed, where I am growing tomatoes that will be having the laterals pinched out.

These tomatoes are grown in a straight line against the fence. They are being tied to the stakes and eventually to the wire mesh over the bed.

These tomatoes are being grown as a single stem and any laterals promptly removed. There are flowers, but no fruit yet. (You may also be able to see the climbing beans I have interplanted between the toms. There are also eggplants, capsicums, mexican sour gherkin cucumbers and self sown watermelons in these beds.)

The second area is in the front yard. This is a wild tomato haphazardly growing heaven, where I am roughly guiding the tomatoes up the structures I've set up.

The tomatoes in this area are growing quite variably, with some taking off and others looking a bit stunted.

The most quickly growing are these lot, which shows a little of what I'm expecting to happen. With no pinching out, these are becoming a tomato forrest. I'm planning to guide them up the supports, while also letting some sprawl over the garden bed.

Excitingly, in this area I have some formed tomatoes.

Green Zebra

Potiron Ecaplate

Hopefully ripe tomatoes will shortly be on the menu!

Do you pinch out? Or not? I'd be intrigued to hear your thoughts on this contraversial area of tomato growing.

The cupboard was bare...

11 December, 2014

Well, almost.

In November I decided my preserves shelves needed a clean out, and so vowed to eat my way through my stock of preserved fruit, veg, jams and chutneys ready for restocking in 2015.

I kind of achieved bare shelves. Or at least shelves that are much less full.

Just look at all that space. You can even see the wall!

The top shelf now only contains two jars of fig chutney (I did a chicken bake style dish served with cous cous that bears repeating, this time with lamb), a jar of pickled cherries that will match nicely with the waiting pate in the fridge within the coming week, and the jars of strawberry sauce that I still haven't opened. I will before the end of the year, I promise.

The bottom shelf has a few jars of peaches and cherries, but the apple is all gone. There is still some jars of blackberry jam as well. It just goes to show I can't force myself into eating preserved fruit when there are fresh raspberries to be had. So I'm cutting myself some slack on this. I'll eat them when I eat them.

Now the cupboard that houses all my preserving jars is looking full again. I can't wait to get to start preserving the coming season. Bottled apricots will be first on the list, I think.

Harvest Monday...

08 December, 2014

Hiya y'all. Sorry for the break in blogging but I was horrendously unwell with severe food poisoning. Not fun. But now I'm pretty much recovered and happy to be getting excited about gardening and food, rather than just feeling extremely nauseous at the mere thought of eating anything.

Which brings me to current garden harvests, courtesy of Daphne at Daphne's Dandelions.

Current veg harvests consist of the last of the broccoli (only one plant is still forming decent mini-heads, and I'm amazed it hasn't yet succumbed to aphids. White fly yes, but aphids no.), a few odd lettuce leaves, the first of the capsicums (from the greenhouse) and a few very early (probably too early but I got too excited on seeing them and couldn't not pick them) cucumbers. Not pictured are the shallots and potato onions, which are the only decent sized onions in the garden.

On the fruit front the raspberries are going great guns, and the first of the (slightly bird pecked) cherries are here.

Don't forget to check out other international harvests at Daphne's.